ANDERSEN SCORES FIRST IFM VICTORY FOR HITECH JUNIOR Hitech Junior's Kasper Andersen claimed the first win for his team today in the fourth round of International Formula Master in Valencia, Spain. After passing Jenzer Motorsport's Nicolas ...
ANDERSEN SCORES FIRST IFM VICTORY FOR HITECH JUNIOR
Hitech Junior's Kasper Andersen claimed the first win for his team today in the fourth round of International Formula Master in Valencia, Spain.
After passing Jenzer Motorsport's Nicolas Maulini and fellow Hitech Junior driver Alexander Rossi at the start, Andersen led the race to the chequered flag to claim his first IFM win since Anderstorp in 2007.
Starting fifth, Jenzer Motorsport's Pål Varhaug fought hard with Rossi on the first lap before catching Maulini and passing him on lap five. The young Norwegian then had to defend his position against JD Motorsport pair Josef Kral and Sergey Afanasiev, before claiming second place, his highest IFM finish of the season to date.
Afanasiev claimed the final podium finish in third place, having started the race in P11. The Russian driver enjoyed a strong start and climbed to sixth place on the first lap before working his way through the field to finish third.
Fellow JD Motorsport drivers Kral and Vladimir Arabadzhiev followed closely, claiming fourth and fifth-place finishes, with Kral setting the race's fastest lap in 1:28.700 on lap 18.
Yesterday's round four winner Fabio Leimer claimed the final point-scoring place, ahead of Maulini and Cram Competition's Harald Schlegelmilch, whilst earlier front-runner Rossi eventually finished in twelfth place following his lap one incident with Varhaug whilst fighting for third.
IFM's 2009 season resumes in two weeks' time at the Automotodrom Brno in Czech Republic for rounds five and six. Both races will be broadcasted live on the pan-European channel Eurosport.
Kasper Andersen, Hitech Junior
"It's great for the team and me; I've always done well here in Valencia and leading the race like this really gave me flashbacks from 2007! This means a lot though; I really had no testing at all with the team and went straight into the car in Pau after six months away from racing in the series. We worked hard and now we have a victory as a result.
"I had a great start, although the guy in front got away well too but I had a good reaction time. Then Alexander [Rossi] was easy to pass; I just drove past him. We definitely have to keep working though; our car was quite good in the beginning but not as fast as the front-runners. We struggled a lot as the weekend got underway although overnight we did some changes and today we saw the result. But we can improve a lot still, we have to keep working and then we're going for it!"
Pål Varhaug, Jenzer Motorsport
"I had a very good start, made up one position and then passed someone else in the first corner. After that I passed also on the last corner so a very good start really!
"I was stuck behind Maulini for some laps and could not pass him but once that was done it was a very good race! I knew I was losing time in the first corner; I was always controlling my line in that corner but the rest of the track was more or less ok. I must thank the team as the car was very good and they did a great job."
Sergey Afanasiev, JD Motorsport
"This weekend started well, we were fast in free practice and qualifying but yesterday's race wasn't successful. Today was very different though; I was very calm and took the start easily and then focused on passing people one by one. I was worried only of Harald [Schlegelmilch] because he usually has good starts but not this time.
"After that, it was a normal race, just passing people until I arrived behind Josef [Kral]. He was attacking a lot so I decided to wait and see what happened over the race. He did a great job keeping on the road but in the end I was able to pass him."